Andrew Zarian of the Mat Men Pro Wrestling Podcast is reporting that starting next week (July 18), WWE Raw will have a TV-14 rating on the USA Network. WrestleVotes has also confirmed the report, adding that the change to TV-14 was in discussion for years.
Starting July 18th WWE Raw will have a TV-14 rating moving forward on USA Network.
Credit to the good brother @AndrewZarian for dropping the TV-14 bomb. RAW exits the PG Era starting this Monday night. This was a discussion for years, and looks to have finally been approved. Now we’ll see if it changes anything.
WWE began to focus on gaining a younger audience in 2008, which meant that they had to remove swearing, blood and graphic content from their weekly shows in order to achieve a PG rating. Since then, a number of shows have been given different ratings, however none of the weekly programming has permanently moved away from being PG.
Back in 2019, WWE began to make the third hour of Monday Night Raw more gritty and dark, by dimming the lighting to give the arena a more intimate look. This didn’t last long however, and the last hour wasn’t as ‘gritty’ as initially described.
When Cody Rhodes returned to WWE in April, many commented on how he was no longer going to be able to blade during matches, which is something he did very frequently in AEW. With the re-introduction of TV-14, this should now be able to happen again.
AEW Dynamite and AEW Rampage have been TV-14 ever since both shows debuted on TNT and TBS. This has allowed for the shows to include swearing and blood, something WWE hasn’t been able to do for a number of years. It’s unclear whether AEW influenced the decision to change to TV-14.
There’s currently no word on whether NXT 2.0 and SmackDown will follow suit. NXT 2.0 is USA Network which is the same channel as Raw, whereas SmackDown is on FOX. Since NXT moved into its new era, the show has become edgier in terms of storylines, despite remaining PG.
Since the report, many have questioned whether anything will actually change, as WWE still has a very young audience. With the new rating coming into effect this coming Monday, we may not have to wait long to find out.